Volume 91, Issue 31

Thursday, October 23, 1997

Froshty the Snowman


Sir Paul's great crusade

Re: Western president Paul Davenport

To the Editor:
To listen to and respect the opinions and assertions of the wealthy and important is a critical cultural trait established early in childhood and reinforced ad nauseam on impressionable young minds. However, in the Western community there is one such voice which consistently fails to receive the recognition and publicity its stature demands. This is the voice of the beloved president of the university; his most almighty regal lordship, Paul Davenport.

With the iron will of a Captain Ahab, Sir Paul, from his overstuffed Naugahyde high-back throne, surveys his realm and dispenses wise and sage directives to the subjects in his kingdom. It is rumored that Sir Paul was a knight of the First P.C. Crusade, which spread the virtues of complicity and accommodation throughout Western land. History tells us that before Sir Paul, the campus was a terrifying bastion of evils: drinking (especially on weeknights), large rowdy parties, residence-sponsored pub nights and perhaps the most horrifying evil of them all; the legendary "Frosh Week." It seems these villainous activities were the target of Sir Paul's bureaucratic battle-axe and, in the name of the '90s and progress, the axe fell. It cleaved the cowering Frosh Week in two, neutralizing its weapons of alcohol-saturated social contact and blatant disregard for the educational process. It is said recent Froshies had but three days of sanitized, healthy fun before the numbing effects of academia took hold. Sir Paul must sound the death knell for the ailing, though thoughtfully renamed O-Week before it becomes something that could injure his reputation as a transcendent, entirely infallible leader.

Sir Paul's kingdom is home to one of the most prestigious business schools in North America and, perhaps due to the hard-currency laced effluent it is said to release into the public water supply, His Eminence was infected with the capitalist bug. The heroic crusader is confronted every year with the task of recruiting more and more fragile fresh-faced Froshies and climatizing them to the rigors of university-calibre learning. This is a task obviously rooted in simple economic premises. The Froshies (pre-Froshies may be more accurate, but excessively cumbersome) are the prospective consumers of Sir Paul's fantastic purple educational experience. Sir Paul determined to court these Froshies using what those at Ivey refer to as "your basic marketing strategy." This strategy holds that one orient one's "product" to the "market" one is attempting to capture. The herd of omniscient lackeys employed by Sir Paul's bloated bureaucracy diligently isolated the lone, exclusive reason J. Public wished to attend university: to learn, through a stuffy, rarefied coupling of MS PowerPoint and the traditional textbook – those skills desired by employers.

This information was a boon to the crusading lordship in his initial attack on the unruly Frosh Week. The customers, he claimed, wished only for education. He must not bask in the light of partial victory, but be strong and complete his annihilation of the down-but-not-out O-Week. There is still product contamination (re: fun) occurring. Today's Froshies appear to clamor for yet more academic material. The overwhelming cry, after move-in is complete and mommy and daddy have left, is "Give us learning!"

As soon as mommy and daddy are out of sight, Froshies experience a period of social fluctuation, spurred by the evils of inter-sexual discourse (and often the ensuing intercourse) in the lounges and rooms of the residences and on the glorious green grass of University College Hill. Sir Paul wisely saw the past the symptoms of this complex phenomenon to the root cause of the problem: lack of academic focus. It appeared that without lectures to attend, the Froshies became distracted and fell into a state of apathy perpetuated by over-consumption of beer and Kraft Dinner. This is a plague Sir Paul wished to avoid as it had already ravaged his social science faculty. His Eminence, fluent in the dogma of political correctness (a large-volume currently-required reading for any person involved in the business of academia, especially at Queen's) understood that to prevent further damage and, moreover, ensure customer satisfaction, he must provide the students with what they wanted: academics. Clearly, university-sponsored activities such as open co-ed socialization at bars or bus trips to seedy night clubs will damage the fragile psyches of the vulnerable Froshies and fly in the face of P.C. precepts. How could one be expected to concentrate on academics if one is exposed to this rash and hedonistic lifestyle? Sir Paul must again take up the crusade, wield his mighty bureaucratic battle-axe and put a final end to the social shenanigans of Frosh Week. Failure to do so may cost him his title of almighty cock of the walk in Western Land.

James Obright
Philosophy II

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997